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Junior High groundbreaking
Metal folding chairs set
in the middle of the road between Ottawa and Kankakee streets
detoured drivers on Broadway Street at a little before 10 o'clock
Wednesday morning. Leaves swirled and rattled in a balmy breeze, and
a small crowd began gathering at the site, where oversized
construction vehicles were ready to roll.
Soon junior high students poured out
of their classes in the old Central School building to join the
now large crowd assembled as witnesses. This was the
groundbreaking ceremony for their new school building. Hundreds of
students, teachers and other interested people enjoyed the sunny,
warmish 60-degree weather as they gathered in front of the site,
which has long been home of Lincoln Junior High.
The old school building was razed
this summer in preparation for a new and improved building. It
opened in 1926 as Lincoln High School and later became the junior high.
The old school building had occupied the site 77 years, as long as anyone
present could remember.
As the Lincoln Junior High band
played on the sidewalk, dump trucks and heavy equipment were
running on the site to level the land in preparation for the
construction crews. Principal Curt Nettles spoke above the engines
to introduce important guests like state Rep. Rich Brauer, Mayor
Beth Davis, Lincoln City Council members and Logan County Board
members. He also introduced the Kids First committee, the group
who worked to make the new school buildings possible, as well as
representatives from S.M. Wilson and Lincoln YMCA.
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Rep. Brauer and Mayor Davis both made
brief comments, and District 27 Superintendent Robert Kidd
expressed appreciation for the community's support in the building
projects for both the junior high and Central School. The school
board president, Bruce Carmitchel, also spoke at the event.
After the various speeches, the
District 27 Board of Education, along with Rep. Brauer, Mayor Beth
Davis, the men from S.M. Wilson and several former administration
staff members from the school donned hard hats and wielded
gold-tipped shovels for the ceremonial groundbreaking, as the band
played a celebratory tune in the background.
In closing remarks, Nettles thanked
the students for their help in preparing for the ceremony and
thanked teachers and students alike for the sacrifices they have
made, and continue to make, in having school in the old Central
School building. Although most of the students on hand for the
ceremony will not be able to enjoy the new building, they showed
maturity and enthusiasm for the construction plans and the people
who have made it all possible.
Lincoln middle school building is slated for completion by the
fall of 2005. It will be exciting to watch the progress as the new
building goes up.